Friday, January 27, 2012

Disrespect for the Paying Audience

I saw a major theatrical movie last night. It was not good, but it at least feels like it was made by a filmmaker, as a opposed to Haywire or Red Tails.

Anyway, I follow the director of said unnamed movie on twitter and I saw this exchange between a reviewer who positively reviewed the film, and the director:

Reviewer: "Odd how much ambiguity in film frustrates some people. Hopefully enough people see the right movie this weekend, so we can have that chat..."

Director: "Bro, they don't have to get it. In fact it would undermine something essential in me if they did. Bozos."

So let's get this straight: he doesn't want everyone to like his film, calls them bozos for not "getting it", and yet hopes his movie will do well.

Something is wrong with this equation.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I understand your point, but felt maybe I should provide a more charitable interpretation of the man's comments.

Let's assume that the "They" in "They don't have to get it" doesn't referr to the audience in its entirety, but only to a much smaller portion of the general audience -- the portion that has a rather extreme, negative reaction to ambiguity. These people (fortunately!) really only make up a small fraction of the audience. They're the "bozos."

And what I think the director may be getting at, is that if you make something so freaking unambiguously clear that the least intelligent, least artistic and poetic in your audience "Get It" on a first viewing, you will inevitably be speaking down to the rest of your more intelligient, sensitive, and patient audience members.

So maybe the director's quote is the exact opposite of disrespect for his audience? Maybe he's saying that a director should respect the intelligence of his audience enough to let some things be merely implied or "shown" rather than unambiguously "Told."

Know what I mean?